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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Certificate of Service?
A certificate of service states: (1) who was given a copy of a particular document, and (2) how, when, where, and in what format they received the document. Generally, the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the Court's local rules outline the specific requirements of service for a motion or other pleading. The requirements of service are varied and may include such things as time constraints, manner of distribution, and which parties must receive a copy. Please review our court's local rules and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure for more in-depth information on service of pleadings.
The correct and appropriate service of a pleading is critical to obtaining the requested relief. Unrepresented parties are strongly encouraged to consult an attorney.
What is a motion?
A motion is a written request made to the court for the purpose of obtaining a ruling or order directing that some act be done or decision made on a matter.
Parties that are not represented by an attorney are strongly urged to consult an attorney prior to filing a motion or request. The filing of various motions is governed by complex rules, time limits, and notice requirements, which can impact the outcome of a request.
How do I file a document with the court?
Parties, who are not represented by an attorney, may file pleadings and claims on paper. Paper filings may be submitted in person or by mail to the Clerk's Office at the following address:
Clerk of Court
United States Bankruptcy Court
224 S. Boulder Ave., Suite 105
Tulsa, OK 74103
The Clerk's Office will not file documents received by fax or email.
The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma requires electronic filing of documents by attorneys. Documents shall be filed electronically pursuant to our local rules and the “CM/ECF Administrative Guide of Policies and Procedures.” Please note that, to file electronically, a court-specific login and password to the Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system is needed. Details on obtaining a CM/ECF login and password are provided at the following link:
Exceptions to the mandatory electronic filing requirement are:
- documents filed by a party not represented by an attorney
- proofs of claim or interest filed by the claimant or interest holder
- reaffirmation agreements if neither party to the agreement is represented by counsel
- attorneys may also file paper but will receive an order to show cause why the filing was not electronic
What are the court's hours of operation?
The court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except Tuesday, when it closes at 3:00 p.m. The court is closed for all Federal holidays.
Where can I get additional information before I file bankruptcy?
There are a number of resources available:
- There is online information provided by the Administrative Office of the U. S. Courts located at this link:
- The website of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma also has numerous links to information and resources.
- Consider reviewing this list of Frequently Asked Questions for further information and answers to questions you may have.
How do I get to the court?
The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma is located in downtown Tulsa. The street address is:
United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Oklahoma
224 South Boulder, Suite 105
Tulsa, OK 74103
Please note that public parking is prohibited around the federal building. However, there is metered parking nearby.
Driving directions may be obtained from the following online resource by simply entering your starting address, and then clicking the "Get Directions" button.
Please click here for driving directions:
What are local bankruptcy rules? Where can I get a copy of them?
A court's local rules supplement the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The local rules are very important as they provide court specific guidance regarding all aspects of filing in that district. The Northern District of Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court's local rules may be obtained at the Clerk's Office during business hours, and are also available online at the following link:
Where can I get a copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure?
The Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure are available at law libraries and online at the following link:
Who is the U.S. Trustee?
The U. S. Trustee is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, and is separate from the court. They are a "watchdog" agency charged with monitoring bankruptcy cases, appointing and supervising all trustees, and identifying fraud in bankruptcy cases.
The U. S. Trustee's Office is involved in reviewing bankruptcy petitions, reviewing pleadings filed in cases, participating in many case proceedings, and filing motions to dismiss or convert in certain bankruptcy cases. They do not administer specific cases. The trustees, whom they appoint, administer the cases.
The U. S. Trustee's Office can give you information about the status of a case, but cannot give legal advice. If you are having problems with a trustee, or have evidence of fraud in a case, you may contact the U.S. Trustee at: 918-581-6670 or on the internet at the following link:
What is a bankruptcy trustee?
A trustee is assigned in all Chapter 7, 12, and 13 cases and some Chapter 11 cases. They are appointed by the U. S. Trustee and are generally, but not always, lawyers. A trustee works on behalf of the bankruptcy estate and all of its creditors. Their fees come out of the bankruptcy case filing fee or from the money collected in a bankruptcy case. The trustee is not the debtor's attorney and does not represent the debtor.
The trustee's job is to administer the bankruptcy "estate" to make sure creditors are treated as anticipated by the Bankruptcy Code. The trustee can require that a debtor, under penalty of perjury, provide information and documents for review before, during, or after the meeting of creditors. The trustee presides over the meeting of creditors, and files a report of findings in the bankruptcy. In Chapter 7, the trustee may collect and sell non-exempt property, and pay out money on a percentage basis to creditors who have filed a claim. In chapters 12 and 13, the trustee receives the plan payments, and makes payments to the creditors based on the approved plan. Failure to cooperate with the trustee is grounds for a debtor's discharge to be denied.